So is getting an entry level dslr and spending more on lenses a better option. I didn't think of this initially but can consider this, i.e. might change lenses over the 3-4 year period but use the same camera body.
Is there not much difference between the 40D and 50D. Can consider this option as well based on expert's recommendation.
Video is good to have but not necessary, might use this once a while. If I want video, I'll buy a dedicated video camera instead.
as much as there is luck involved in shutter life, the old 40d's are more likely to fail and require replacement sooner. other than that, with the 50d you will get warranty. cosmetic condition, unless you are lucky to meet some joker who has been sitting on his camera for a long time......................... 50d is likely to be more presentable. it's a small thing, but it still matters.
Even though 50D is a newer model, frankly speaking I don't recommend it as the ISO performance does put me off.